Gabriel Newman wins award for video series at Historic O'Keefe Ranch

Award for being lonely

Gabriel Newman is being rewarded for being lonely.

Newman was hired at Historic O'Keefe Ranch just before the pandemic began last year.

He watched as the ranch on Highway 97, 10 minutes from Vernon, became a virtual ghost town.

It was out of this emptiness Newman created The Loneliest Interpreter, a YouTube series that earned him the Inspiration Award from the BC Historical Federation.

"I had been hired to do educational programming, but right away the school tours had to be cancelled, there were layoffs and we didn't know what was going to happen.

"Walking around the empty ranch was in fact lonely and a bit absurd, so I was inspired to share that feeling with our visitors," he said.

"I figured there was no point in pretending the pandemic wasn't happening, and we are all doing things that we hadn't expected."

The first video gained a following, so Newman continued to make them, "sometimes as a way to introduce how we were starting to open up, but also to share stories. Like so much of the summer, I was inventing things as I went.

"I am thankful that O'Keefe gave me the space to be creative and trust this silly idea."

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